OK first, DON'T DO SSRI antidepressants. I wouldn't do ANY anti-depressants in most circumstances. Please see my post from a few days ago on this. :(
Can you look into an autism center to give some in-home therapy? That sounds rough. I know how awful it is to hear your child say they don't want to live. :( (((hugs)))
I agree Intuniv doesn't seem to change personality, though sometimes I think it might deprive the kids of some sleep (they wake 5:30am many days) and thus make them whiney/grumpy.
BTW, both my boys are on Intuniv. 7 yo is on 2 mg and 9 yo is on 3 mg. I am going to do a trial off of it with them this summer, just to check, but overall I have been happy with how mild the side effects are (after the first 2 weeks of use). The only thing I notice is they fall asleep earlier and more easily.
On stimulents, they both had horrible, manic-like energy rebound in the am and late evening. DS1 used to just run back and fourth, back and fourth 100's of times throwing up a football and catching it. They also were stick thin and still losing weight. When we took them off stims., they shot up in height, both put on weight and looked so much healthier.
BUT, for my kids, the stimulants helped their fine motor control, organization, and focus and they aren't doing as well in those areas right now on the Intuniv. The Intuniv seems to mellow them a bit, and they are doing fine overall in school on it. They are still forgetful, super hyper and silly several times a day, occasionally aggressive and complain about schoolwork.
So, overall for my own kids ADHD meds, stimulents *worked* better, but with pretty nasty side effects, Intuniv, works OK and the side effects are mild.
Out of curiosity, what differences did you see on the different meds?